Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hearst Castle Shortbread Cookies

I made cookies tonight. I got the recipe from this wonderful blog. They turned out perfect. Light and YUMmy! I rolled a portion of them in cinnamon just for an extra zip. I am looking forward to having them with coffee tomorrow!

Hearst Castle Shortbread Cookies

This is a shortbread inspired by the version published in The Castle Cookbook by Marjorie Collard and Ann Marie Lopez. The end result is a perfectly light and buttery shortbread cookie with just the right amount of sweetness.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 pound unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a mixing bowl beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat again, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl once or twice as you are mixing. Beat in the vanilla extract. If you have a vanilla bean slit it open along its entire length, scrape out the vanilla bean paste from the interior of the bean, and add this to the mixer as well. Add the flour mixture in two additions. Stir until everything comes together into a thick dough.

Turn the dough out onto a counter top and divide into two pieces, there is quite a bit of dough, so cutting it into two pieces just makes it easier to roll out later on. Press each piece of dough out into a flat patty an inch thick. Wrap each piece in plastic and chill completely in the refrigerator - about thirty minutes. When the dough is chilled, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out 1/4-1/2-inch thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters or a knife and place on a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are barely golden.

Makes 3 or 4 dozen tiny cookies - more or less depending on the size of your cutters.

Peter Pan-ish

There was one of those Aura photo booths set up at this fair I went to. Just for fun I decided I would go ahead and get mine done. When my photo was developed the guy running the booth gleefully exclaimed, "You have the Aura of a child! I've never seen this before in a full grown adult!"
Wondering if I had just been insulted, I asked him to explain further.
"Oh no, it is not a bad thing. Children are more energetic and their minds are open, and they have higher ESP. When we grow up we get tired, and busy and stressed and we close up. But not you! You are full of crazy energy and your mind is wide open. If you focused your energy you could blow the doors right off of this place!"
He was all lit up and excited when he was explaining this, it was sweet, but I figured he said that to all of the cute girls.
"It must be all of the coffee I drink." I teased.
"No, this is a very good Aura, you are a special girl!" He insisted, "See that white light above your head? Those are the spirits that are always with you. Not everyone has those."
That part didn't surprise me. So many people I have loved have died. If there are spirits that follow us around, I would be one to have an army.
He went on to show me other people's photos, and he was right, all of the adults had one solid color, the only people with layers like mine and that white and purple outer layer were the kids!

Well, we all like to feel special, and I am not one to refuse a compliment, so there you have it. You heard it here first. Even though my birthday is a week away and I am turning 147 years old, my Aura is not a day over 7! Oh, and I am never alone. I hope at the very least they don't peek when I am in the shower!

Here's the interpretation thing:
Red/Hot Pink: desire, vitality, power, the urge to win, to have success, intensity of experience, action, doing, love of sports, struggle, competition, force of will, leadership, strength, courage, passion, eroticism, earthiness, practicality, desire for possessions, sense of adventure, the survival instinct. A majority of young children and teenagers especially boys, have bright red auras.

Green: perseverance, tenacity, firmness, patience, sense of responsibility and service, self assertiveness, high ideals and aspirations, dedication, puts high value on work and career. Ambitious desire for respectability and personal attainment, deeply focused and adaptable. Green is also the color of growth and of dedicated parents, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other persons focusing on creating positive change in the world.

Violet or Purple: magical, original, tends to be unconventional, often has psychic abilities, unusual charisma and charm, the uncommon ability to make their dreams come true, or manifest their desires in the material world, wish to charm and delight others and can easily connect with higher planes of consciousness. Playful, nonjudgmental, tolerant of others' eccentricities. Sensitive and compassionate. People who have purple auras appreciate tenderness and kindness in others. Not especially practical, they tend to prefer to live in a dream world of their own creation. You'll find many "violet or purple" entertainers, movie stars, free thinkers, visionaries, revolutionaries, and otherwise singular and magnetic individuals. Dark violet could indicate a need to take charge of their life, or perhaps, that the person needs time to spiritually ground himself or herself.

White: spiritually motivated, the ability to be open and receptive to the divine, or spiritual world. Can merge with ALL THAT IS. Probably unconcerned with worldly matters or ambition. Inner illumination, cosmic wisdom characterise the white energy. Young children, energy workers, and people who meditate intensely often will show bright white in their auras. Generally, white does not often appear in the auras of adults.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


At lunch today I decided to poke my head in the thrift store next door to my office.
It was just a quick walk through to see if there were any new coats/vintage clothes/handbags.

I noticed a somewhat unremarkable bag that looks like it was circa 1940-something. I picked it up and opened it for no particular reason. Inside it had a teeny change purse. I opened that as well. In there were two of the most beautiful silver and rhinestone vintage looking earrings. They were so shiny and new looking that I initially thought they were knock offs made to look vintage. The purse was obvz the real deal as far as being from the 1940's so I thought there was a slim chance they had just been sitting in that change purse since the 40's.

I went to the counter and asked the guy what he would charge me for these earrings. I explained how I had come across them. He seemed interested in doing as little work as possible, so he said, "They are yours for 99 cents!"

I figured that even if they were knock offs, they are REALLY pretty and you can't beat 99 cents!

They have a marking on the back. I came back to the office and googled them. Turns out they are from 1941 Eisenberg ice collection. I found a pair on a website they are selling for $125.

I don't think I will sell them because they are so pretty and in perfect condition. It makes me wonder if they really did just sit in that change purse for the last 66 years waiting to be found by me.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Here she is!

My new niece, Carys Lynn Price. I swiped this photo from my brother's blog, you can see more of her there! Congrats big brother and lovely Laura. You two are in for an awesome ride.

She looks a lot like Darian did when she was a newborn. Too cute. Takes me back...

Also, Happy 55th birthday to my daddy!

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